Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Book Review

A new book by Gegory Cochran (a physicist and Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the U. of Utah) and Henry Harpending (Holds the Thomas Chair as Distinguished Professor in the Dept of Anthropology at U. of Utah, Member of the National Academy of Sciences, a field anthropologist and population geneticist whod helped developed the "Out of Africa" theory of human origins) wrote an interesting book I just finished called "The 10,000 Year Explosion, How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution. In some ways it will be controversial because it brings up the old bug a boo of race and genetics, but it is brilliant and show evidence for the idea that we are still evolving. Genetics, fossils, comparitive anatomy, anthropology, history all come together in a rather compelling story. It masterfully weaves the various disciplines together into a theory of how and why we are what we are today. It answers for example why the very few spanish, and out numbered conquistidors could conquer the far larger population of amerindians. Of why the europeans had trouble until quite recently colonizing africa. It also explans why the indoeuropean family of languages are so common in eurasia. It brings in the archeology on this point also. It may call up some feelings that we prefer not to think about, but it forces us to do so. And that is good, because if we do not face our inner fears we do not grow. I heartily endorse this book. It is going on the list as one of the favorites.

Skeptical DoDo

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